Sunday, September 23, 2007

Congratulations Renee and David Yang!

Congratulations to the newly wed couple Renee and David. Renee (nee Cheng) is Karen's cousin. Over the past ten or so years, we have gotten to know her well through visits to LA and her visits to Vancouver. We are so happy to see her finally get married to the love of her life!

The wedding took place in Santa Monica at Shutters on the Beach - a beautiful and romantic hotel set at the beach. The ceremony, set atop the balcony overlooked the water during sunset. It was extremely picturesque. Three photographers stood by to capture the moments. Several of us family photogs also tried to get in on the action, but at the same time trying to be courteous to the professionals. 'Twas most definitely a difficult balance!

As with many of such gatherings, it was also a time of reunion with Karen's side of the family. Aunt Mabel and Uncle Michael hosted us at their house. We were grateful for their wonderful hospitality. It was also great meeting some of Karen's uncles, aunts and cousins for the first time - particularly those that live in such far away lands as Australia.

Among some of the highlights of the ceremony was watching my niece (Emily) be one of the flower girls. She is the middle one in this photo. The first time I met Emily was shortly after she was born, so it was quite amazing watching her grow up so fast. She is talking so much now and with such eloquence. It was quite the funny conversation we had one night while I was rather tired: she had actually managed to convince me that she was in Grade 2! I had myself second guessing how old I was! In actual fact, she's only 4 of course....

Erich had a great time with all of his cousins. He took particular affection to Emily who took him around like a younger brother. That was very cute to watch. Here he is posing with the girls. Check out the immense smile on his face! :-)

A few other notable pictures from the wedding:

The three flower girls sprinkle the aisle with flowers.

Renee's father escorts her down the aisle to be
greeted by an eagerly awaiting groom.

The wedding ceremony as seen from the back.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Santa Monica Boulevard

I could just hear that song in my head as we drove down the Santa Monica Boulevard not far from where we were staying in LA.

As the Ngs got ready for the Saturday evening wedding, we had a chance to stroll around a few places in town. For Erich, the highlight was visiting the Santa Monica Pier where he was able to explore the many sights and sounds of the bustling pier. His favourite of course was the arcade where a number of adventure vehicles awaited him out front. Most notable was a train named "Elias", and a safari car that matched his jacket. Erich enjoyed driving both!

The next day, we met up with some former neighbours of ours here in Kitsilano. Though they normally live in LA (they are in the movie/TV industry), during the summer months of 2006/2007, they all attended the Bridge Church while filming in Vancouver. I had taken a few photos of them during our recent child dedication ceremony that I wanted to give them. After trying to figure out how to navigate around Beverley Hills (one does pass by all those familiar street names you often hear on E.T.) we were able to meet briefly with them. Erich particularly enjoyed his reunion with Parker, their 3 year old daughter.

Perhaps the most encouraging part of our meeting was the realization that God, through his call for us to minister to our own community, has placed us within reach of people from all walks of life and all parts of the world. They had shared with me how they were encouraged by a recent sermon I had preached at the Bridge. To think that God would use the likes of us to encourage others even though we are so far from perfect, is indeed a humbling experience. It makes me in awe of what He is capable of doing, and in awe of the enormity of God's grace. To God be all the glory.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Erich's first plane ride

This fall, the Ng family is doing quite a bit of traveling, and of those most will be by airplanes. We have been busy preparing for these trips. One of the things we needed to do was to prepare Erich (and us!) psychologically for the plane ride. For weeks, we have been telling Erich that we are going to be on an airplane. He had previously seen airplanes in the sky and was excited to be on going on one. Then we told him that on that airplane, he would have to be a really good boy.

"Do you know what that means Erich? It means you have to be...?", we would ask periodically.

"Qriwet", he would answer in his talkative voice.

"That's right Erich, you have to be quiet. Can you run around on the airplane?"

"No!" quips Erich as he confidently smiles because he knows the answer to my question.

(Little did he know he was going to be couped up in a confined space for 3 hours. Umm - just wait till the Germany trip Erich! You ain't seen nothin' yet!)

Well, the time had come to put the theory into practice. First up was Renee Cheng (Karen's cousin) and David Yang's wedding in Los Angeles. More on the actual wedding in our next post.

We arrived at the airport early, and attempted to check in. It had been a while since we had flown on any US destined flights, so it took a bit of reminding to remember that you actually cross over into U.S. Territory at the Vancouver airport. Keeping Erich calm throughout the entire customs, immigration and airport security process turned out to be a bit of a nightmare. I now have much more sympathy for parents traveling with small children.

Once we were on the plane though, Erich was excited. He couldn't believe he was on a real airplane. As he gazed out the tiny window and saw other airplanes, he kept saying, "Airplane! Airplane!".

All in all, the experience was positive. We learned a lot from this short flight to LA - much of which should hopefully benefit us when we are on a plane next. (Next week!).

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Erich's got appetite!

What 20 month old you know does this?! Erich asked for corn. When Karen gave him some by picking off the kernels and putting them in the bowl, he said "no" and instead insisted he be able to eat it "on the cob" like the rest of us. (Afterall, he's a big boy now!)

By the time we had finished ours, he had polished off his as well!

This past weekend, we also had a surprise visit from Karen's cousin Keane from Seattle, WA. As part of the "get to know Vancouver" tour, we took him to have bubble tea at Dragon Tea House (King Edward and Oak St.) Erich, of course was all excited because he overheard that we were getting some sort of mango drink. When the drinks finally arrived, he grabbed it before anyone could stop him and gulped down a few sips. The other patrons at the tea house could not stop laughing! After that, it was game over - he insisted on sharing that drink with mommy. (See photo.) The funniest part was that we had actually gotten one more drink than there were adults because we thought we'd bring one back for Katherine. When asked whose drink that was, Erich gladly pointed out that it was "Ewich's drink" implying he was going to drink it later. Sorry Kat!

So much for baby food! Our little boy has become well versed in indigenous Canadian food as well as Hong Kong/Taiwanese cuisine.

Editor's Note: for all those parents reading this - not to worry... Karen always orders bubble tea with no added sugar and no tea, so nothing but mangoes, ice, milk and okay maybe a bit of sugar in the bubbles.